Early (early) voting begins October 5! (and some good news)

Early voting at county clerk’s offices kicks off October 5. Here are the particulars in Bernalillo County and here they are for absentee ballots, same day voter registration, and a list of County Clerk’s offices for early voting throughout New Mexico.

All elections matter, but the elections taking place this fall are particularly important. This is especially true in Albuquerque where a failing Mayor AND a taxpayer-financed soccer stadium are on the ballot, but there has NEVER been a more important school board election. Government schools have failed us as never before (that’s saying a lot in 50th-New Mexico) and school board members have a real platform and a positive role in pushing back against overreach from the Gov. or Legislature on everything from COVID masking in schools to  to critical race theory.

In Albuquerque there is also a “hidden” tax hike on the ballot. RGF is working to draw attention to it in TV and radio interviews.

Also, RGF’s education project OAK NM has surveyed school board candidates across the state on CRT and other critical issues.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS! 

In a bit of GOOD news, a recent poll in Albuquerque indicates that voters are not “buying” the idea of a taxpayer-financed soccer stadium, but polls don’t win elections, voters do! So, go vote!

Purpose At Work: Why Brands Are Asking You To Vote

 

 

 

NY Times notes COVID’s 2 month cycle, questions impact of interventions

The following is directly cut from the New York Times’ morning email titled “COVID in retreat.” The data not only show that COVID cases are declining, but that the virus seems to operate on a two month cycle “and occurred when human behavior was not changing in obvious ways.”

The entire email is worth a read, but the following is telling, “We’ve ascribed far too much human authority over the virus,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota. In other words, it may just be (as numerous critics of lockdowns, forced masking, forced vaccinations and numerous other government policies have demanded, that the Virus is going to “do its thing” and human behavior isn’t going to have much impact one way or the other. The following is the most relevant section cut from the article:

Talking APS property tax with KOAT Channel 7

As discussed in a recent blog post here there is an Albuquerque Public Schools property tax issue on voters’ ballots this November. As seen below the ballot language certainly seems to indicate a property tax increase, but in this story for which RGF talked to KOAT Channel 7, APS claims it is NOT a tax hike.

We looked extensively on the APS website and found nothing, nor does the full ballot text on our sample ballot (find yours here) have any clues. Click on the photo below for a link to the story:

 

340 Vance Ginn – Texas Public Policy Foundation Economist

On this week’s podcast interview Paul sits down with Vance Ginn, Chief Economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The Foundation is the RGF’s “sister” think tank in Texas.

Paul and Vance begin with a discussion of Vance’s time in Washington working with the Trump Administration. They have a candid discussion about some of the successes and failures of the previous president on important economic issues.

Vance and Paul move on to a discussion of Texas, it’s economy, and comparisons with Florida and big blue states like California and New York. They address the numerous qualities and policies that make Texas an attractive destination as well as some things that Texas still needs to improve upon. They also discuss New Mexico and its situation relative to these four major states.

Comment on Critical Race Theory in MLG’s proposed social studies curriculum

Gov. Lujan Grisham’s Education Department just released its new social studies standards. You can find 122 pages outlining those standards here and a separate document with information corresponding to the relevant numbers below here.

Described below the standards are rife with Critical Race Theory (CRT) themes and other questionable material that may not fit squarely within CRT (read more on what that means here).

Before getting into some of the specific problems with the proposed standards, PED is NOW accepting public comments and will do so until November 12, 2021 at 5 p.m. (MDT). There will be a public hearing  Friday, November 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (MDT) at Mabry Hall in Santa Fe.

All written rule feedback should be submitted to:

  • Emailrule.feedback@state.nm.us
  • Fax505-827-6520
  • Mail: Policy Division, Public Education Department, 300 Don Gaspar Ave., Santa Fe, NM 87501

Here is a rundown of SOME of the problems with the proposed standards:

  1. In Ethics, Cultural and Identity Studies there is a requirement that students assess how social policies and economic forces “offer privilege or systemic inequity in accessing social, political, and economic opportunity.” This is classic CRT theology.   6.29.11.23(A)(1)(d)
  2. Throughout the entire social studies curriculum for K-8 grades, there is a continue focus on the differences, rather than the similarities, among various groups of people.  This, too, is classic CRT as the purpose is to divide people among various minority groups, which can quickly lead to victimhood.
  3. There are also numerous example where a teacher can impose the notion of “justice and fairness,”  unequal power relations, “past and current injustices”, although those terms are open to many interpretations.  These phrases are also classic CRT as it perpetrates the sense of inequity in our society along racial lines.  6.29.11.11(E)(2) and 6.29.11.15(E)(7) and 6.29.11.15(E)(12)
  4. Within High School U.S. History, a requirement that students “evaluate what an efficient, equitable, and just economic system would look like in the U.S.”  This is again classic CRT as it imposes the belief on students that our current capitalistic system must be eliminated in order to eliminate racism.   6.29.11.21(A)(1)(i)
  5. Within High School U.S. History, students are required to create an action plan for a more just and equitable America for diverse groups of people including Native Americans and African Americans.  This is another CRT theology component in that America is automatically unjust and inequitable to various minority groups.  6.29.11.21(A)(3)(kk)
  6. Within High School U.S. History, students are required to examine the past, present, and future of gun violence in the U.S.  Of course, there are no standards provided to discuss the constitutional rights of gun owners, or that individuals, not an inanimate object, are responsible for gun violence in America or how gangs, drug cartels, etc. have resulted in greater gun violence in our society. No positives regarding gun usage by women or minority groups are put forth.    6.29.11.21(A)(1)(gg)
  7. In the 5th Grade, students are  required to describe how inequity in the U.S. laid the foundation for conflict that continues today.  Another classic example of CRT as it stresses racial disparity in terms of inequality.  6.29.11.13(A)(3)(b)
  8. Within High school U.S. History, students must examine the short-and long-term effects of CIA involvement in Latin America. How about pairing this with a discussion of Communism and the negative impact it has had in Cuba and other Latin American nations.    6.29.11.21(A)(1)(x)
  9. In the 7thGrade, students must compare the patterns of exploration, destruction and occupation of the Americas by the Spaniards.   6.29.11.15(D)(3)(g)
  10. Within High School U.S. History, students must explore the movement against police brutality.   6.29.11.21(A)(3)(mm)

RGF will be formulating its own comments in a subsequent post, but you are encouraged to submit your own and highlight this.

Albuquerque Public Schools is “hiding” a property tax increase on your ballot

Have you heard about the property tax hike on ballots in areas served by Albuquerque Public Schools this fall? We took a pretty close look at the APS website and saw no mention of it. We haven’t seen ANY coverage in the local media either. (If you have, send it to us at: info@riograndefoundation.org).

Voters need to be armed with this information when early voting begins on October 5.

UPDATE: According to the ABQ Journal Wednesday, October 6, the proposal does not increase property tax but will continue an existing tax costing $630 million over the next six years. 

Here’s the language directly from this fall’s ballot:

United releases TV ad on stadium: understanding bonds and taxes

In their quest for a new soccer stadium, the New Mexico United have released a new TV ad. We haven’t seen the ad on local TV yet, but you can see it for yourself in this KOAT 7 story. RGF president Paul Gessing adds a bit of balance to the story near the end.

Aside from the usual claims about “jobs” and civic pride the ad relies heavily on the idea that the ballot measure is a “bond” that doesn’t raise taxes. Of course, that is akin to saying that a family should put all of its spending on a credit card because they aren’t actually spending anything right away.

Bonds require taxes in order to be paid off. In this case it is going to require gross receipts tax revenues. And, other priorities like law enforcement and roads will receive fewer dollars than they otherwise would. Finally, of course, taxes COULD go down in the absent of the stadium.

 

A laugh at the expense of battery powered cars

Funny stuff from Saturday Night Live a few years back. While your basic AA battery won’t wind up in your car, the idea that battery-powered cars are somehow inherently “green” or that a massive shift of our electrical grid to “renewables” with massive battery backup makes sense or is good for the environment are myths.

Check out the following and enjoy a good laugh while realizing that the underlying issue is very serious:

Tipping Point Episode 339 Vaccination Not Required at Balloon Fiesta, Will Europe’s Energy Crisis Spread?, Why Joe Biden is worse than Jimmy Carter

The Balloon Fiesta pushed back against MLG by NOT requiring vaccines. MLG was NOT amused.

Pfizer booster shots now available to some “at-risk” groups. Biden received his already while wearing a MASK.

The FDA pushed back against “universal” booster which directly contradicted Biden Administration statements.

The political wrangling between the Biden Administration, the FDA, and the CDC has been fascinating.

Comparing Blue and Red States economically.

Europe is facing an energy crisis driven by “green” politics on energy.

Paul wrote a piece for National Review in which he discussed why Joe Biden is worse than Jimmy Carter.

Down in the polls the United Soccer team’s ownership puts up some cash for their proposed stadium. Is it enough?

40% increase in teacher retirement, but why? Paul and Wally discuss.

Europe concerned over energy crisis abroad, Haaland pursues limits on fossil fuel extraction

Numerous articles in major publications like Bloomberg are contemplating a serious energy crisis in Europe.  Here is one of many choice quotes:

Nations are more reliant than ever on natural gas to heat homes and power industries amid efforts to quit coal and increase the use of cleaner energy sources. But there isn’t enough gas to fuel the post-pandemic recovery and refill depleted stocks before the cold months. Countries are trying to outbid one another for supplies as exporters such as Russia move to keep more natural gas home. The crunch will get a lot worse when temperatures drop.

Unsurprisingly this crisis is being driven by Europe’s abandonment of traditional sources of energy. Japan and China have bought up much of the LNG that can be exported from the US and Russia simply isn’t willing (or able) to export what Europe would like to purchase.

All of this should be a warning for the United States and especially “green” politicians like Joe Biden and Michelle Lujan Grisham (to name just two). But Interior Secretary and radical environmentalist Deb Haaland made some disturbing comments this week and more importantly, while the federal land leasing moratorium was invalidated, the Administration continues to limit oil and gas drilling on federal lands. According to the article, “the number of permits the agency issued for oil and gas drilling in mostly western federal lands has declined to 171 in August from 671 in April.”

So, at a time of increasing energy demand and potential for the US (and New Mexico) to step up in ways that benefit both our European allies and our own economy, Biden and Haaland are working to limit energy supplies.